Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hopi Corn Salad

I got this recipe from an anthropology class I took as an undergrad. It was called "North American Indian" and was taught by this really awesome old anthropologist who did his field work in the American Southwest. He used to live on the mesa and researched traditional Native American farming techniques (how to grow corn, beans, and squash together). He created a collection of recipes from tribes over the years and this was one of them. I made it for a thanksgiving potluck that the class had instead of a lecture one day. I have subsequently made it for various things and it is my most requested dish at potlucks and barbecue-type functions (which is almost insulting considering how freaking simple it is!). It's really good, lasts for days, improves with age, and can be eaten as a dip or a salad. I would even recommend recycling it into some kind of soup when you're tired of eating it alone :) Maybe make an omelet?

Hopi Corn Salad

-1 bag frozen sweet corn kernels
-1/2 bag frozen lima beans
-1 jar pimentos
-1 small to medium red onion (how much do you like onion?) chopped
-1 green bell pepper (I think I added this part. Can't remember)
-1 tablespoon red chili powder (the American kind that's practically heat-less)
-1/2 tablespoon salt
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1/2 cup white vinegar

Throw all the non-dressing stuff in a bowl (you don't even have to thaw anything. Isn't this crazy easy?). Stir it. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and taste it to make sure it is yummy. Adjust your salt and chili to your liking (I am a fan of going heavy on the chili but moderate on the salt) and whisk again. Pour the dressing over your salad and stir until everything is well coated. Let it sit for at least a couple of hours (overnight if possible). Eat it. Enjoy it. Make it again :)

I often make it frozen the night before and pop it in the fridge for my function the following day. You can also make it frozen in the morning and let it sit on the counter until your afternoon cook out. Have fun and thank you, Dr. Fisher!


  1. Okay, we might be trying this tonight. This sounds awesome, and we've been invited to a barbecue next weekend. We were thinking of taking Akiko's specialty, an egg/potato salad, but this might work too.

    What else came to the T-day potluck? Were they all Native American recipes?

  2. Yeah, we might put this on our recipe list for next week. Woohoo!

  3. Ummm I can't remember everything that cam to the potluck but there was some kind of soup. I think there was like some bread stuff and then since my friend got sick, I made her dish too called a "harvest bake." That was also really good. It was basically zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and yellow squash sliced and layered in a casserole and then covered with colby jack cheese. I would have to look that recipe up. I haven't made it since, not that it wasn't good or anything!

  4. Please look that recipe up. With those ingredients, I'm hooked already.

  5. So okay, I made this recipe this afternoon and we had it with dinner. And it's awesome. I mean, just absolutely great. Good call, greenonioneater.

    It makes a lot, this recipe. We have tons left for tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the flavor matures over time.

  6. I think the beauty of this salad lies in the humility of the ingredients. I truly believe that if you used another kind of vinegar you would probably ruin it. I am going to look for that "Harvest Bake" recipe. If I can't find it, I will just think really hard and reconstruct it. I think I can do that :)

  7. We made this and it turned out pretty nice. Surprisingly sweet. We might take our leftovers to Eric's family's Pioneer Day party tomorrow, share the love.

  8. Yummy, yummy, yummy!! I'm going to make some, probably split it into two batches, one less onion-y and spicy for Cherilyn, the other more of both for me! Great recipe! I need cold foods when it is really hot out, as I can't stand to eat hot foods & consequently wind up forgetting to eat, so this is great!